|For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2010
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NAEYC supports National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
(Washington, D.C.) - The National Association for the Education of Young Children is pleased to support National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day celebrated today across the country. Activities today will raise awareness of effective programs for children’s mental health needs; demonstrate how children’s mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience; and show how children with mental health needs thrive in the community.
NAEYC was one of six organizations on the executive planning committee. This year Awareness Day is focusing on healthy social and emotional development in early childhood.
“National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is about raising awareness that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth,” said Mark R. Ginsberg, executive director of NAEYC. “NAEYC is supporting this initiative since our mission is to serve and act on behalf of the needs, rights, and well-being of all young children. Healthy social and emotional development is essential to school readiness, and it is imperative that we promote healthy development in the early years.”
This year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will celebrate the fifth anniversary of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The national events begin with the Awareness Day Turns 5 Celebration, which takes place in Washington today and will feature young children, their parents, and their caregivers. The children will express their emotions through music, dance, and visual arts. The celebration will be followed by the Awareness Day Early Childhood Forum, which will feature two panels of early childhood mental health experts and celebrity-parent Sheri Shepherd from ABC’s “The View,” discussing the importance of promoting positive social-emotional development and what to do when challenges arise. A SAMHSA Special Recognition Award will be given to pediatrician and professor Dr. T. Berry Brazelton for his groundbreaking work over the past six decades in pediatrics and child development.
Communities across the country will also observe this day with their own events, youth demonstrations, and social networking campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to increase understanding about the mental health needs of children and their families. The events include the Awareness Day Art Action – “My Feelings Are a Work of Art,” in which young children create artwork to express their emotions; and a Youth Action for older children, in which they display signs that have both mental health data and statements about what they want to be when they grow up.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the United States.
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.